Qld burn victim speaks of 'brutal attack'

Cheryl Goodenough
·2-min read

A woman who suffered a brutal attack that left her with burns so bad she spent days in an induced coma and nearly a month in hospital says she's been given a "life sentence".

Brae Taylor Lewis admits splashing fuel on the woman before flicking a lighter that set her on fire in May 2016.

The 22-year-old man pleaded guilty to one count of malicious act with intent in the Brisbane District Court on Wednesday.

The court heard fuel splashed on the woman when Lewis threw a beer bottle containing the flammable liquid at her.

"She put her hands up in front of herself and as that happened the defendant extended his left hand and flicked the lighter that he held in his left hand," crown prosecutor Elizabeth Kelso said.

"The fumes immediately in front of the complainant ignited and effectively the front of her body became involved in flames."

The woman was left with permanent scarring to her arms, chest, abdomen, back and thighs.

She told the court on Wednesday her sleep is disturbed by recurring nightmares, she is "petrified" of putting fuel in her car and the damage to her skin makes her sensitive to products like soaps, sanitisers and the sun.

She is also self-conscious of her scars and appearance.

"I found myself crying all the time ... and there were times I thought of giving up," she said.

"I have been forced to learn how to cope with the permanent injuries and scarring that this brutal assault has left me with.

"This is a life sentencing for me that I must endure and cope with every day.

"No matter how much time passes this will always stay with me."

Ms Kelso called for Lewis to be sentenced to at least eight years in jail and be declared a serious violent offender.

But defence barrister Andrew Hoare called for him to receive a seven-year jail term and be eligible for immediate parole.

Mr Hoare said the 22-year-old had a deprived upbringing, was exposed to violence and trauma, and developed a drug habit from the age of 15.

Judge Michael Burnett is expected to hand down the sentence on Thursday.